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My Cat Has Laryngitis - What Do I Do?

Is your cat's meow sounding a bit squeaky or gone completely? Your cat may be suffering from laryngitis. Today, our Rainbow City veterinary team explains the causes, symptoms, and treatment for laryngitis in cats. 

Cat Laryngitis

Can a cat get laryngitis? Yes! Just like in humans, a cat's larynx (or voicebox) has a number of jobs to do, including allowing your cat to vocalize. If something is affecting the health of your kitty's larynx their ability to meow regularly will be impacted. 

If your kitty is diagnosed with laryngitis it means that your cat's larynx has become inflamed due to irritation, illness, or a blockage within the throat.

Causes of Cat Laryngitis

Cat laryngitis is often the result of infectious diseases such as upper respiratory infections, calicivirus, or rhinotracheitis however there are a number of other conditions that can cause your cat to lose their voice including:

  • Inhaled irritants, such as smoke or dust
  • Blockage in the larynx
  • Object lodged in the throat
  • Paralysis of laryngeal nerve
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Growth in the throat (benign or cancerous)
  • Eosinophilic granuloma complex
  • Throat cancer

Cat Laryngitis Symptoms to Watch For

The symptoms of laryngitis that your cat displays will depend upon the underlying cause but may include: 

  • Changes in your cat's vocalizations
  • Dry, harsh cough that may be painful
  • Noisy breathing
  • Lowered head while standing
  • Open mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • High-pitched breathing
  • Increased effort to breathe
  • Bad breath

If your cat's laryngitis is being caused by a virus or cat cold you may also notice symptoms of a common cold such as:

  • Watery eyes
  • Discharge from eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lack of energy

If your cat is showing any of the symptoms listed above you should arrange to take them to the vet. If your cat appears to be in respiratory distress and having difficulty breathing this is an emergency situation and you should bring them to the nearest pet hospital immediately. 

While in some cases laryngitis caused by a viral illness may clear up on its own within a couple of days, the underlying cause could be serious and may require veterinary care. 

It's important to keep in mind that a sore throat could also lead to difficulties breathing and an inability to eat, both of which are symptoms that deserve immediate veterinarian care.

Cat Laryngitis Treatment

Treatment for your kitty's laryngitis will depend upon the underlying cause. Your vet will be able to determine the underlying cause and prescribe the appropriate treatments. 

If the laryngitis is caused by an upper respiratory infection, or cat cold, you can help your kitty feel better by running a humidifier, ensuring they have plenty of access to water, and gently wiping away any eye or nasal discharge with a soft, damp cloth. 

If your kitty is showing signs of pain your vet may prescribe a mild painkiller to help your cat to feel better.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Do you suspect your cat has laryngitis? Contact Central Valley Animal Hospital today to book an appointment with one of our skilled veterinarians.

New Patients Welcome

Central Valley Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Rainbow City companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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Contact (256) 442-2542